Shaq Roland

Another departure pushes Gamecocks to an even 10 transfers

6 Comments

Did you hear the one about the South Carolina football player who decided to transfer?  Sure you have.  Over and over and over again you’ve heard it for the past two months, as a matter of fact.

Citing a source with knowledge of the situation, Josh Kendall of The State is reporting that Blake McClain has decided to transfer out of the Gamecocks football program.  The defensive lineman’s departure comes on the heels of linebacker Marcquis Robertsdecision to leave, which came on the heels of eight other transfers: wide receivers Shaq Roland (HERE, landing HERE) and K.J. Brent (HERE), fullback Gerald Turner, tight end Drew Owens, linebacker Kaiwan Lewis (HERE), and defensive linemen Mason HarrisNa’Ty Rodgers and Deon Green.

Add it up, that’s 10 players who have left the Gamecocks since the end of the 2014 regular season.  What it means is that Steve Spurrier will field a very young, raw and inexperienced squad in 2015, as Kendall points out:

That large number of exits, which is expected to grow before fall practice begins, combined with the 31 newcomers set to join the team before next season means at least 36 percent of the Gamecocks scholarship roster will be first-year players. Including players who redshirted last season, 40 of the 85 players on the team will have never played a snap for South Carolina.

Getting back to McClain, his loss wouldn’t be considered a significant one.

McClain was a three-star member of USC’s 2014 recruiting class, rated as the No. 19 strongside defensive end in the country.  He did not play at all as a true freshman.

(Photo credit: Rivals.com)

Part-time starting LB Marcquis Roberts latest to leave Gamecocks

3 Comments

Another day, another South Carolina Gamecock who has decided to take his leave of Steve Spurrier‘s football program.

Citing a source with knowledge of the situation, The State newspaper reported Tuesday that Marcquis Roberts will not be back with the team and is expected to transfer. A school spokesperson subsequently confirmed to the Charleston Post & Courier that the linebacker is no longer with the program.

It had previously been reported that Roberts would miss spring practice due to a torn labrum.

Injuries, in fact, have been the hallmark of Roberts’ time with the Gamecocks. After coming to Columbia as a three-star member of USC’s 2011 recruiting class, he did not play as a true freshman due to a shoulder injury incurred during his high school playing days in Georgia. He then missed the following season with a torn ACL.

Following successful rehab, he returned to start nine games in 2013 and five in 2014.

If Roberts lands at another FBS school, he will likely have to sit out the 2015 season, leaving him with one year of eligibility remaining. If he were to drop down to the FCS level, he would have two years remaining.

Roberts becomes the eighth Gamecock with eligibility left to leave the program since the end of the 2014 regular season, joining wide receivers Shaq Roland (HERE, landing HERE) and K.J. Brent (HERE), fullback Gerald Turner, linebacker Kaiwan Lewis (HERE), defensive end Mason Harris, and defensive tackles Na’Ty Rodgers and Deon Green.

USC did pick up a transfer in the form of former starting Wake Forest offensive lineman Cory Helms.

As The State points out, all of this movement, including the additions via National Signing Day, currently leaves the Gamecocks at the NCAA-mandated max of 85 scholarship players on the roster.  Funny how these things always seem to work themselves out.

WR K.J. Brent transferring from Gamecocks

Leave a comment

South Carolina’s depleted receiving corps has taken yet another hit.

On Twitter Tuesday, K.J. Brent announced that he will be transferring out of the Gamecocks football program to an undetermined location for his final season of college football.  As he will be a graduate transfer, Brent will be eligible to play immediately in 2015 if he transfers to an FBS school and enrolls in a grad program not offered at USC.

Below is the missive Brent posted on the social media website yesterday evening.

In 2014, Brent played in all 13 games, catching nine passes for 11 yards and a touchdown.  Behind Pharoh Cooper (42-1,136-9), Brent would’ve been the Gamecocks’ second-leading returning wide receiver; with Brent gone, that honor now falls to Shamier Jeffery and his two receptions for nine yards.

Late last month, Shaq Roland, third in receiving yards and fourth in receptions in 2014, abruptly quit the team. A month later, he landed at the FCS level to finish out his collegiate career.

Ex-Gamecock Shaq Roland to finish career at an FCS A&M

Leave a comment

A career that began with much promise at the FBS level will finish further down the collegiate ladder.

The mother of former South Carolina Gamecock Shaq Roland has confirmed to Josh Kendall of The State that her son has decided to move on to Prairie View A&M in Texas. As the Panthers are an FCS program, Roland, an SC native, will be eligible to play immediately in 2015.

“He was feeling kind of depressed (when he left the team), but he’s coming back to normal,” the wide receiver’s mother, Petina Etheredge, told the paper. “He said from the beginning that he wanted to get out of South Carolina. He felt like it would give him an opportunity for a fresh start and a second chance.”

A fresh start was certainly in order for what was an up-and-down career with the Gamecocks.

In 2013, the wide receiver was suspended for a total of three games for unspecified violations of team policies.

This season, Roland was third on the team in receiving yards (356) and receiving touchdowns (four), and he’s fourth in receptions (26). Even with that statistical success, Roland didn’t travel with the team for a game against Kentucky because he failed to attend a team meeting and a walkthrough.

A couple of days before Christmas, Roland quit the team.

A four-star member of USC’s 2012 recruiting class, Roland was rated as the No. 10 receiver in the country and the No. 1 player at any position in the state of South Carolina.

Despite all of that recruiting potential, Roland finished his Gamecock career with just 56 catches for 891 yards and 10 touchdowns.

WR Shaq Roland no longer a Gamecock

6 Comments

The on-again, off-again relationship between Shaq Roland and South Carolina appears to be off yet again, although this time it looks permanent.

According to 247Sports.com, Roland “made the decision to quit the team and was not dismissed from the program.” The wide receiver did not attend team meetings or practice the past couple of days, and didn’t fly with his Gamecock teammates to Shreveport for USC’s Duck Commander Independence Bowl game against Miami.

The website also reports that Roland, a true junior, will likely either drop down a level of college football or make himself available for the 2015 NFL draft. Roland’s decision to leave the Gamecocks comes a couple of months after he didn’t travel with the team for a game against Kentucky because he failed to attend a team meeting and a walkthrough.

Last season, Roland was suspended for a total of three games for unspecified violations of team policies.

This season, Roland was third on the team in receiving yards (356) and receiving touchdowns (four), and he’s fourth in receptions (26).  A four-star member of USC’s 2012 recruiting class, Roland was rated as the No. 10 receiver in the country and the No. 1 player at any position in the state of South Carolina.

Despite all of that recruiting potential, Roland will finish his Gamecock career with 56 catches for 891 yards and 10 touchdowns.